go MY COUNTRY AND MY PEOPLE admitted the impossibility of settling the question with our mental powers, and therefore brushed it aside. Han Yii's was a powerful mind, and he was not superstitious, for he was the man who wrote the famous essay dissuading the Emperor from sending a delegation to bring back the "Buddha's bones55 from India. I am sure he was half laughing when he composed that sacrificial appeal to the crocodiles. There have been other powerful minds, more rationalistic in temperament, like that of Ssuma Wenkung of the following dynasty, who tried to disprove the Buddhistic hell by asking why the Chinese people never dreamed of hell until they heard of Buddhism. But such rationalism is not typical of the Chinese mind. To me the most characteristic creatures of the Chinese imagination are the lovely female ghosts that the Chinese scholar spins out of his imagination, such as those told in the Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio* The stories are about the female ghosts and spirits of wronged and disgraced women who possess the body of some maid-servant and thus communicate their complaints to the living, and the dead sweetheart who returns to her lover and bears him children. It is these stories with their human touch which are most loved by the Chinese people. For the Chinese ghosts are wonderfully human, and the female ghosts are wonderfully lovely, too: they love and become jealous and take part in the ordinary human life. It is not the kind of ghosts that scholars need fear when they are alone at night in their studies. For when the lamp is burning low and the scholar has fallen asleep, he hears the noise of a silken dress and opens his eyes to see a demure maiden of sixteen or seventeen, with a wistful look and a serene air, looking and smiling at him. She is usually a passionate creature, for I have no doubt these stories are the wish-fulfil- ment of the solitary scholars. But she can bring him money and help him through poverty, by all sorts of cunning wiles. She can nurse him through sickness with more gentleness than an average modern nurse. What is stranger still, she will sometimes try to save money for him, and will wait patiently for him during his months or years of absence. She can there- fore be chaste as well. The period of this cohabitation may i Translated by Professor H. A. Giles.